A Solid Social Media Scheduler, But Does It Do Enough?
SocialPilot launched with the aim of making social media marketing more efficient. While it doesn’t have a huge user-base of tools – like Buffer and Hootsuite – more than 115,000 businesses use this social media management tool, so it must be doing something right.
Compared with other social media management tools for teams and agencies, SocialPilot has a good reputation. Many SocialPilot reviews talk about how easy it is to use and how affordable SocialPilot pricing is compared to other agency social media scheduling tools.
SocialPilot supports all the major social media networks, making it a useful all-round social media dashboard. You can create and schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Pinterest, Tumblr, and VK.
That means it works well as a Facebook scheduler, Pinterest scheduler, tweet scheduler, or Google My Business post planner. As you’ll see, though, the Instagram scheduler functions aren’t as simple as tools like Buffer.
This social media tool has five plan offerings: Individual, Professional, Small Team, Agency, and Enterprise:
- The Individual plan lets you manage five accounts. You’ll have a cap of 50 posts and its hidden on the pricing page.
- The Professional plan lets three team members manage 25 social media accounts.
- The Small Team plan lets five team members manage 50 social media accounts.
- The Agency plan lets ten team members manage 100 social media accounts.
- The Enterprise plan is fully customizable, based on your company’s needs. You’ll need to schedule a phone call to discuss.
There’s a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) with all plans. This is a little short compared with the 30-day free trial offered by Sendible, and the free plans offered by Buffer and Hootsuite. However, if you work fast, there’s more than enough time to test all of SocialPilot’s features.
In this in-depth review we’re going to test SocialPilot’s Small Team plan to see if it’s the right social media dashboard to meet your business needs.
We tested this tool as part of a larger project rating all of the top social media management tools.
A Publishing Powerhouse, Except for Instagram
SocialPilot includes a number of features that show why it consistently ranks as one of the best social media management tools. You’ll have the ability to schedule posts in bulk via CSV, include multiple images, and a URL shortener for branded social media URLs.
There’s also a handy browser extension for sharing on the go, and SocialPilot’s mobile app includes image editing functionality. Now, let’s look at some of the other features built into this powerful tool.
Social Inbox and Engagement
Unlike many other social media dashboards, SocialPilot’s social inbox is currently a Facebook-only tool. You can use it to manage your Facebook inbox and comments for multiple pages. It’s a good way to keep track of messages and comments from the last 30 days, and to reply to them from a single interface.
The interface is simple and clear, although I wasn’t able to see comments on content posted before using SocialPilot. While this worked well, other social media dashboards have more robust social media monitoring tools, which include this functionality for multiple social media sites.
SocialPilot is heavily focused on publishing and scheduling content. So it’s no surprise that it doesn’t really include social listening features.
As noted earlier, you can handle messages and comments from your Facebook page. But if you’re looking for a social media tracker or hashtag tracker, this probably isn’t the right tool for you. Try Hootsuite, Sendible or Buffer Reply for more robust social listening options.
Publishing and Scheduling Posts
SocialPilot is a good social media scheduling tool, offering automated Facebook posting, and posting to multiple other platforms. Click on the Posts tab and you can start a new social media post simply by posting a link.
SocialPilot automatically pulls in images and post details and gives you an instant preview of what you’ll be posting. You can also use built-in tools to add images, video or GIFs, or design an image to go with your post on Canva. This is a useful integration.
When you click on the link for each social media site, you can see how the post will look. Then you can share it immediately, schedule it, or add it to your queue.
A cool feature is that you can set the post to repeat up to ten times over a number of days. This is great if you want to get maximum attention for a particular piece of content.
Once you’ve scheduled a piece of content you can see it in your dashboard or via the content calendar, where you can change the schedule via drag-and-drop. You can also easily tag users on each platform to extend the reach of your content.
One downside is that, for Instagram scheduling, you get a notification when it’s time for the post to go live so you can publish it yourself. It would be great if this happened automatically.
SocialPilot is a tool built for teams and agencies, and it shows. As an account owner, you can easily add team members with a couple of clicks. In a single interface, you can choose whether to give team members admin access to accounts, and which features they can manage (like adding feeds, connecting accounts, and boosting posts).
You can set individual permissions for each social media site, depending on whether you want team members simply to schedule content, or to be able to look at analytics and the social inbox.
Content created by people with the Content Scheduler role goes into the approval workflow. You can find and approve these via the Posts tab. Note that each team member gets an individual account for managing team content – this can’t be used for their own personal social media feeds.
As an agency owner, you can also invite clients and decide whether they can view, create or promote content.
If you’re looking for a way to keep your social media accounts populated with relevant content, SocialPilot has you covered. Go to the Content & Feed tab, type in a keyword, and you’ll immediately see the most relevant results.
Select your social media sites, and you can add them to your queue and have them scheduled with a click. It’s super simple, and a timesaver for busy business owners. You can sort results by publication date, and shorten or lengthen the period you’re looking at.
And you can also search for content by influencers. Once you find content, you can share it or schedule it with a couple of clicks.
One of the most useful features of many social media monitoring tools is the ability to monitor blog and website feeds and add this content to your social media queue.
SocialPilot makes this easy. Add a feed, and some relevant hashtags, and you can choose how often the app checks the feed and how many posts it should pull in. This content will share automatically unless you turn it off.
Where Hootsuite has 100+ apps in its app directory, SocialPilot keeps it simple. Its integrations include apps for URL shortening (Bitly, Sniply, and Rebrandly), browser extensions, Feedly for sharing feeds, and Canva for creating images.
And don’t be put off by how short this list is! SocialPilot makes up for this by including Zapier as an integration. That gives you the possibility of integration with hundreds of other apps that your team might use.
Ease of use
Getting Started with SocialPilot Is Simple
It doesn’t take long to grab a free trial of SocialPilot and start setting up your account. You can fill out the short form or link the app to your Facebook or Twitter account. Social sign-on doesn’t save much time, though, as you’ll still be prompted to fill out the rest of the form.
Either way, the process takes less than a minute, and once you’re in your dashboard, there’s a handy reminder at the top of when your free trial ends.
Connecting Social Accounts
The next step is to connect your social media accounts. Unlike Sendible, SocialPilot doesn’t provide an in-app guide for this. However, you will get an email with a link to a getting started guide that walks you through the steps.
Or, you could simply click on the Accounts icon to add a new account.
Note that, if you used social sign on, the account you added will already be in your SocialPilot dashboard. As you’ll see below, this is a mixed blessing.
SocialPilot offers several social media accounts via a simple and intuitive interface. Click the one you want, complete the validation process, and you’re ready to start scheduling content.
Default Social Media Posting Schedule
One nice feature of SocialPilot is, that when you add a social media account, it automatically creates a posting schedule for your content. You can tweak this, of course, but it makes it much quicker to get started on actually sharing content.
However, this did not happen with the account I used for social sign-on, which seems strange. I had to delete that account and add it again to get the automatic posting schedule.
If you’re an agency or have a large team, managing multiple social media accounts can become difficult. That’s why SocialPilot’s grouping feature is so handy. It lets you put social media accounts into a group so you can work with all those accounts at the same time. This is useful for working with RSS feeds and content suggestions, as well as creating social media posts.
Analytics & Reporting
Automatic Analytics Makes Life Easy for Social Media Managers
To get access to SocialPilot’s social media analytics, just click on the Analytics tab. SocialPilot provides analytics for Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn pages, Pinterest accounts, and Google My Business profiles. Sadly, Instagram isn’t yet supported, though SocialPilot says they’re working on it.
The analytics dashboard is simple and clear. It gives an immediate overview of key metrics for your account. SocialPilot collects analytics automatically when you add a social media account, making it easy to keep track of your metrics from day one.
SocialPilot’s reports cover content performance, engagement and more. There’s just one problem: SocialPilot’s analytics reports aren’t customizable for Professional accounts.
If you want a white label report you can brand for your company or agency, you’ll need the Small Team or Agency plan. That feature isn’t available in the Professional plan. However, you can download or email analytics data for each social media profile to share with team members and clients.
Apps & Integrations
SocialPilot doesn’t offer external analytics integrations. However, you can get data on engagement, content performance, reach, and much more for the supported social networks. If you’re looking for Instagram analytics, you’ll need the social media measurement tools built into apps like Sendible or Buffer Analyze.
Overall, though, SocialPilot provides plenty of useful data to help with your social media strategy. Learn more about using SocialPilot analytics in our full review.
Email Support is Quick, But Don't Bother With Social Media
A good starting point for getting SocialPilot support is the knowledgebase, which you can access via the FAQ button in your dashboard. This has dozens of articles with screenshots covering every aspect of the app, and it’s pretty useful.
If that doesn’t work, click on the Contact link in the navigation menu, and send a message about your issue. The support team promises to respond within 24 hours, and support is offered 24/5.
I sent a message asking about adding a Facebook ad account and got a response with a link to a walkthrough in about 40 minutes.
SocialPilot doesn’t promise to offer social media support, but I tried anyway. I sent a question about team roles at 2pm, and though my message was seen, a day later there was no response. Three days later, a response finally came, with a link to a helpful article.
The same thing happened on Twitter, where I sent a question about payment options. There was no response.
In my area, there was no option for live chat, and I didn’t see an option to open a support ticket. Overall, your best bet is to go for email support.
|Support Type||Question Asked:||Hours of Availability||Response Time||Answered Question?|
|What payment options do you accept?||24/5||No response||No||1|
|How do I change team members’ roles?||24/5||3 days||Yes||2|
|How can I add my Facebook Ad Account to SocialPilot?||24/5||40 minutes||Yes||4|
If you’re comparing SocialPilot with Buffer and Hootsuite – both of which offer free plans – it can look a bit pricey. However, it compares well with the paid plans of those and other social media scheduling tools.
It’s a big advantage that you don’t have to pay extra for social media analytics, and even the Professional account includes three team members. SocialPilot accepts all major credit cards, plus PayPal, so it’s easy to pay in the way that suits you best. If you pay annually, there’s a discount on the published price.
|# of Social Profiles||# of Users||Schedule Posts Available||Price per Month|
There are also discounts for nonprofits, though SocialPilot does not give details on the percentage.
Cancellations & Refunds
SocialPilot allows you to cancel your account at any time, but has a no refund policy. But, if you stand your ground, you can cancel AND get refunded. Learn about that experience in this article.
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